Incidental sightings of marine mammals

Latest version published by Institute of Marine Research on 13 December 2018 Institute of Marine Research
Data on incidental sightings of cetaceans reported to the Institute of Marine Research by letter or telephone, as well as information from newspapers, have been collected since 1967. From the late 1970s, data have also been obtained from research vessels, coast guard vessels, some fishing vessels and inspectors. These reports contain basic information on date, position and species, but also additional information such as group sizes. These sightings are not useful for assessing abundance, but might reveal distributional aspects. Most of the reports come from the northern areas (Barents Sea); this is clearly related to the distribution of the activities which form the basis for this kind of reporting.
Publication date:
13 December 2018
CC-BY 4.0

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 31,081 records.

1 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

  • Occurrence (core)
  • MeasurementOrFacts 

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 31,081 records in English (932 kB) - Update frequency: unknown
Metadata as an EML file download in English (5 kB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (6 kB)


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Institute of Marine Research, Marine Mammals Research Group (2017). Incidental sightings database.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Institute of Marine Research. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has not been registered with GBIF




Who created the resource:

Siri Hartvedt
Institute of Marine Research

Who can answer questions about the resource:

Siri Hartvedt
Institute of Marine Research

Who filled in the metadata:

Who else was associated with the resource:

Arnfinn Morvik

Geographic Coverage

North Atlantic

Bounding Coordinates South West [23.78, -71.47], North East [84.05, 69.32]

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 1980-01-01 / 2015-01-01

Additional Metadata